Biz Brief: Buffett Lunch Auction Fetches Record $2.6 Million


What economic downturn? This year's auction lunch with financial guru Warren Buffett fetched a record bid of $2,626,311 on Friday after a frenzied battle of bids that went right down to the wire.

With less than a half hour to go, the top bid for lunch with the head of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) had grown to $1.925 million and the pace of bidding picked up in the last 10 minutes. It was assured a new record for the auction would be established when a bid of $2.15 million came in with just under 8 minutes to go. A flurry of bids followed, including one of $2.5 million with just under 3 minutes left. The winning bid on eBay came with just about 1 minute and 15 seconds left. In all, 77 bids were cast.

The previous high bid for the sit-down with Buffett belonged to Zhao Danyang, a money manager for the Hong Kong-based Pureheart China Growth Fund, who paid $2.1 million for the audience with Buffett in 2008. Last year's winner paid $1.68 million.

This year's winner will be treated to a steak and seafood luncheon with seven other guests at Manhattan steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. Financial advice from Buffett is on the dessert menu.